DELMAR: A century of service

Sunday, Oct. 7, marked a special day in the history of the Tawasentha Chapter of the Daughters of the American Revolution. The regional chapter, with many members in Bethlehem, celebrated 100 years of service in the effort to preserve history and promote patriotism.

Several members of the current 50-member Tawasentha Chapter were at the Wednesday, Sept. 26, meeting of the Bethlehem Town Board to receive a proclamation highlighting the many accomplishments of the group since its 1907 formation.

By placing historical markers in the towns of Bethlehem, Guilderland and New Scotland and iron markers on the graves of local Revolutionary War Veterans, they have preserved a part of American history, said Supervisor Jack Cunningham reading from the proclamation.

The chapter name comes from the Normanskill Creek and is memorialized in the famous Longfellow poem "The Song of Hiawatha."

Chapter highlights include a ceremony in 1915 when the Liberty Bell passed through Slingerlands on the old Delaware and Hudson rail line. The year 1925 marked the beginning of the chapter's historical markings beginning with the unveiling of a granite boulder in New Scotland cemetery in memory of the Revolution War soldiers who are buried at that site.

"Allison Bennett has helped get state markers placed throughout Bethlehem honoring Revolutionary War soldiers," said Tawasentha Chapter regent Christine Torey.

Bennett said the Tawasentha Chapter has placed markers in Thacher Park to mark where the Tory's kept munitions with the Indians during the Revolutionary War. A plaque rests inside a platform at Indian Ladder Farms that leads to a walking trail to recall a time in the 1800s when geologists studied the rock formations of the Heldebergs just past the farm.

Through the years, the historical contributions of the Tawasentha Chapter have been significant.

A booklet in 1940 reveals the location of graves where 126 Revolutionary War soldiers from Bethlehem, Guilderland and New Scotland are buried. During the World War II years, the chapter made donations to soldiers of hand-knit sweaters, mittens and socks. Today the Tawasentha group offers an annual scholarship to a Bethlehem High School student in honor of Lt. Henry Clyne, one of the first area soldiers killed in the Korean War. Annual gatherings are held in Washington, D.C., at the national DAR site at 1776 D St.

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